Teacher-Written Lesson

Teaching with Current Events: Why Do Christians Offer “Thoughts and Prayers”?

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Lesson Overview

Last week, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded many more at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many offered thoughts and prayers for the victims in the wake of this unspeakably evil act. In response, some have criticized the offering of thoughts and prayers as failing to adequately respond to the event. Is this criticism warranted? Why do Christians pray for victims of crimes? Is prayer “enough,” or do we have other responsibilities towards each other? What is truly needed in order to cure our society of mass murder? 

In this lesson your students will:

  • Understand why Christians pray for victims of violent attacks.
  • Understand that prayer is good for its own sake, but does not rid us of the need to take additional action.
  • Pray a rosary for peace and healing.
  • Evaluate the roles of citizens and government in preventing and punishing violence, respectively.
  • Develop a specific action plan for helping our culture prevent acts of mass murder. 

Recommended For

Grade Level: High School, Middle School

Subject: Civics, Government, and Economics, Civics, American Citizenship, Civic Virtue, Participating in Civic Life, Government, Justice, The Rights of Citizens, Current Events, Religion

Learner: Traditional Classroom, Homeschooled Students, CCD/Parish-Based Education

Tagged as: violence,  thoughts and prayers,  teaching the faith with current events,  school shooting,  guns

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